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Netanyahu Says Schumer Call for Israel Election Was Inappropriate

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN on Sunday that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech in which he urged new elections in Israel was “totally inappropriate.”

In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Schumer, a longtime supporter of Israel and the highest-ranking Jewish U.S. elected official, called for new elections in Israel and said Netanyahu was an obstacle to peace.

“I think what he said is totally inappropriate. It’s inappropriate to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there,” Netanyahu said in the CNN interview.

The speech reflected growing frustration in Washington with Netanyahu, his management of the war with Hamas, and the civilian death toll in Gaza. International criticism of US support for Israel has mounted due to the death toll in the coastal enclave, where Hamas terrorists have been criticized for embedding themselves among the civilian population and using civilians as human shields.

Schumer said it would be a “grave mistake” for Israel to reject a two-state solution and urged negotiators in the Israel-Gaza conflict to do everything possible to secure a ceasefire, free hostages and get aid into Gaza.

President Joe Biden said on Friday that Schumer’s comments echoed the concerns of many Americans, describing the remarks as a “good speech.”

Still, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Sunday that Biden believed it was up to Israel to make its own decisions about internal politics.

“We respect the sovereignty of the Israeli people,” Kirby told Fox News Sunday. “The president believes it’s up to the Israeli people and the Israeli government to determine if and when there’s going to be new elections.”

Schumer did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Netanyahu’s reaction to his speech.

In Israel, Netanyahu dismissed international pressure on Sunday and said Israel’s military would push into Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza, after more than five months of war.

Republican congressman Michael McCaul, who leads the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, criticized Schumer’s remarks, comparing them to an effort to topple Israel’s government.

“You don’t talk about toppling a government in a democracy,” McCaul told Fox News Sunday, calling Schumer’s remarks “very inappropriate” and “embarrassing.”

Schumer also criticized Palestinians who support Islamist group Hamas, and said Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas also should step aside.

Schumer raised the possibility of Washington using its leverage if Israel does not change course. Still, he did not go as far as suggesting a step some Democrats advocate: introducing legislation to make easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza a condition for the U.S. providing more weapons to Israel.

“It’s indicative of now the split in the Democratic Party … and I think what you’re seeing is a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel faction in the Democratic Party,” McCaul said.

Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza after Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists launched a surprise invasion of the Jewish state on Oct. 7, massacring 1,200 people and kidnapping 253 others before Israeli forces repelled the onslaught.

The post Netanyahu Says Schumer Call for Israel Election Was Inappropriate first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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